Marketing to Millenials: part 2

Millennials are a high speed, detail-oriented generation. Here are helpful tips to attract this generation as purchase-driven consumers, from our point of view.

Most important: building trust. If your product or service continually proves to be worthwhile, then advertisements serve as buyer updates rather than a persuading technique. (which we dislike).

Apple does a great job of relationship building. Millennials know we have options. If a product or service doesn’t live up to our standards, we quickly find a more satisfying one. We would much rather support a company that truthfully has our best interest in mind rather than feel deceived.

Boring is bad. We twenty-somethings are self-confident souls who respond well to positive messaging. A recent 60 Minutes TV special titled, “The Millennials are Coming” focused on the influence of our parent’s undying love and support mixed with memorable messages from our childhood. Since we were born, our parents, teachers and TV personalities have been telling us, “You can do anything you set your mind to!” and “You’re special!” as the unforgettable Mr. Rogers claimed in each episode. Know what motivates us.

Advertise as the leaders in your field. We don’t like missing out on important benefits your product or service may provide, especially if our friends have or use it.

Perception sells. If your business image presents a negative or threatening image to millennials, we won’t buy whatever you’re selling. Give us a confident slogan or fun image that we can’t get out of our heads. My beer-drinking friends often say laughingly, “This Bud’s For You” right before they snap off the bottle cap.

As a 20-year old, not quite the legal drinking age, I confess to never yet trying beer — any beer. However, in my mind, Budweiser is already the best beer of choice. The confidence portrayed in their commercials, magazine ads and billboards catch my eye and create a positive perception. Their marketing has persuaded me to believe Budweiser produces the best product. Is it pure coincidence Anheuser-Busch has a market share in the United States of 50.9 percent for all beers sold? I think not.

In May, the 2010 MTV Music Awards aired commercial free. Instead of companies paying for a 30-second commercial time slot, they paid to sponsor specific awards and were given credit as the award “owner”. As each award was announced, the corporation’s (still framed) ad was featured behind presenters on large screens.

This type of advertising becomes part of the program. It’s a subliminal and psychological endorsement. Viewers may not realize they are being marketed as products and fans are united to a common interest. Companies are further tapping into Hollywood star power for their minds as well as their faces to reach this powerful consumer group.

Ashton Kutcher has teamed up with Popchips Inc. to help create content but not be a pitchman directly. Lady Gaga was named chief creative officer of Polaroid earlier this year. She will develop new products, appear in ads, and has a financial stake in the company.

“These types of deals are the next wave of the merging of celebrities and brands,” says Steven Lashever of Creative Artists Agency in Hollywood.

When surveying students at Colorado State University, their mediums of choice are word of mouth from close friends and the Internet via our cell phones. I asked what truly captures their attention to seek further information about a product or service. “Catchy advertising, a memorable slogan…something that sets them apart from the competition,” said respondents.

Social media and cool websites are increasingly the best way to reach us. What don’t we identify with? We are not America’s Next Top Model and probably never will be. While absolutely stunning to look at a 6-foot-3, size 00 supermodel, it’s hard to relate to that image, even for us. Then there’s the mindset of the next generation.

Caroline, a 9-year-old I babysit loves soccer and playing with her brothers. She can’t wait to get her first Mac Book Pro, complete with a purple case, to store her PowerPoint projects. Yes, 9 and yes, PowerPoint… in 4th grade! When I was 9, I had no idea there was more than one computer, much less the complexity of technology. My generation is said to be way before our time making speed of light applications for the business world. I can only imagine what the generation to follow will bring to the table, whatever silly name they’ll be called.
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Esty Atlas is the public relations director for Hughes & Stuart Marketing located in Greenwood Village. Contributor/author of this article, Saira Taylor, is our summer intern. She is studying Public Relations, Journalism and Marketing at Colorado State University. The perspective of her generation is valuable insight to us all!


Categories: Sales & Marketing